Why The “Occupation” Will Fail

By now, most people have gotten wind of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and has been affected by its polarizing actions and beliefs. The protesters and their signs scream out at their collective outrage, and list their many grievances. While the movement is seen as something noble and worthwhile by some, by others, it is seen as a group of spoiled, petulant young people, intent on obtaining entitlements. Whatever the case may be, I feel as though there are enough fundamental problems with the “movement” that it lacks any chance to secure any of the real changes it seeks.

Too much diversity

Yes, there can be such a thing as too much diversity. In the case of Occupy Wall Street, signs and grievances run from: criticism of greedy, corrupt money makers, to the redistribution of wealth, to the high unemployment rate among young people, the elimination of capitalism, and finally, to the effects of lobbyists in Washington D.C.. Some media sources have even shown people dressed up in greasepaint and with torn clothing to resemble zombies. I am unsure what message that is supposed to represent – perhaps it has something to do with Halloween? To maximize their efforts, the group needs to focus on one or two main messages, and drive those home. As it is, the fractured, myriad concerns of protesters are doing more damage than any good. They must coalesce into fewer, more well defined issues to maximize their effort. As the movement appears now, it is unclear whether the protesters are anarchists (as some have claimed in the television media), socialists (as some in the television media have claimed), or just disgruntled young people, seeking a solution to the many problems the nation has run headlong into.

Pre-emption of the movement

The Occupation of Wall Street

While the original message may have started out of an on-line organizing force, in the last week, the protest crowds in New York have seen various other groups and “sympathizers” lend their support. During this spring and summer, unions saw governors and legislatures force their members to pay for more of their own benefits and retirement packages. In a well-publicized series of recall elections in Wisconsin, the unions were again rebuffed. The support for various unions may have never been lower, and along comes a popular movement of self-described disenfranchised citizens. The unions saw a golden opportunity to attach themselves to this movement and possibly earn back some support. Celebrities too, have seen fit to make appearances, and lend their support as well. These stars who “feel the pain” of the broke protesters, show up, and bring the cameras along. Suddenly, a photo op. breaks out, the stars swear that they know how the protesters feel, and the protesters are made to believe like these multi-millionaires and they have something in common. Cheap appearances for celebs threatens to undermine any messages.

The movement doesn’t have a leader

For a movement such as this, it strikes me as a disjointed group of people, in search of someone to lead them. Now, I am not talking about some fire-brand, urging the protesters to start chucking bricks through store fronts, but someone who can lead the throngs and either accept or reject support from those seeking to take over the movement. There have been a few scattered whispers that the protests are supposed to be modeled upon the Tea Party movement – which has no leaders, but is just loose nationwide groups – however, the Tea Party groups began growing and coalescing around the idea that taxes and spending were too high. There is the single issue that laid the foundation for a movement. It sounds as though many of the protesters are asking for more oversight any way — but government oversight is not what anyone needs at this point. Indeed, if people would stop and consider for a moment, government “oversight” lead to much of the current financial and economic mess the country finds itself in at the moment.

  1. October 6, 2011 at 09:07

    I feel that this movement does have a chance of being successful, however we must get it through congress’s head that we want them to make the hard decisions now, and stop putting it off.

    Congress has again passed a temporary bill to fund the government for six more weeks, when they could if they were actual leaders pass a long-term bill to fund the government. They have forgone the bill to increase the taxes on the rich until 2013, which will only further make us upset and hurt the nation.

    The U.S. is in a terrible state, and this must change. The increasing unemployment rate affects us all. College students being not being unable to find work after graduating affects us all as well. They are standing up, as they must to protect their future.

    This is not a right or left movement, it’s a movement of the people. The people were there long before the unions decided to show up.


    • October 7, 2011 at 19:42

      I understand that the people and their concerns existed long before any of the union pre-emption tactic began, but so many protesters seem to be willing to either blame the “common enemy”, the dirty, greedy bankers. It seems like throughout history, the people with money are frequent scapegoats, but I cannot believe that the people who work with money, whose business it is to make money would (of their own volition) throw so much of it away on poor loans and risky investments. It’s the governments who is the problem here, and gives me shivers to hear people saying that more government is the answer. The government needs to stop “helping” with everything, forget about the killing rules they keep churning out, and get out of the way – maybe enforce the beaucoup rules that they already have on the books?


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